I have a really awful confession to make. I’m going to say it right here on the blog. OK: this Independence Day…
I didn’t barbecue anything.
I know. I know. How anti-folklorico; how unpatriotric. All day, the enticing odor of grilled meat blew across the neighborhood and through my open windows. Everyone was barbecuing. And I served cold turkey.
It was pretty good, though.
I serve this festive turkey salad on those searing summer Shabbatot when we’re all melting away and the appetite craves something light, varied, and cold. Today was hot enough.
Amounts are given only loosely because the final taste of the salad depends on the taste of the cook. But for 4-5 generous servings, start with a kilo of turkey breast, cubed as in the 3rd photo of the Passover Turkey Bites post. I ask the butcher to do this.
Best is to cook it in chicken stock, and that’s what I always do, but in a pinch, make a quick broth. Simmer water with an onion, a carrot, 2 large garlic cloves, 2 stalks of celery, salt, and some soy sauce for 1/2 hour and proceed.
1 kg. cubed turkey breast
fresh, fragrant curry powder
salt and pepper
2 healthy spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/2 cup raisins, or mixed raisins and dried cranberries
1 tart green apple, washed but not peeled, and chopped into large dice
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted cashews or peanuts
chutney, coconut, hot sauce, extra sliced scallions, nuts, and chopped red peppers – for later
1.Simmer the cubed turkey in soup or a quickly-made broth for 25 minutes, or till cooked through but still firm.
Note: strain the broth and cook rice with it, or save it for another purpose.
2. Remove the cubes from the soup and put them in a bowl. Allow them to cool, covered.
3. In another bowl, put 4 Tblsp. of mayonnaise. You may add more as the process of creating the salad goes on.
4. Add 1 Tblsp. of curry to the mayonnaise and mix very well.
5. Add the cooled turkey cubes to the curried mayonnaise and mix.
6. Now start adding the other ingredients. Mix well and start tasting. More mayo? More curry? More raisins? Add it, mix, and taste again. When you’ve achieved the blend of sweet/savory/crunchy that you like, it’s ready. My family loves the apple in this salad, so I always make sure there’s a whole chopped apple in there. But they’re not crazy about bell pepper, so I only put in half of one. The only way to know is by continuing to add and taste till you’re happy with it.
If you’re not serving the salad right away, cover it tightly and keep it refrigerated till needed. It will keep 24 hours in the fridge.
Mound the salad onto a platter and scatter toasted nuts over it. Serve this with plain white rice, a leafy salad, and very cold beer.
Place small dishes of chutney and extra nuts, sliced scallions, raisins, coconut, and hot sauce around the table. Dig in.